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800 meter Event for Men at Olympics


800 meter Event for Men at Olympics: The 800 meter event is the middle distance with the shortest length. The event takes two laps around the 400 meter track in the outdoor competition. The 800 meter event demands extreme stamina and sprinting speed. The athletes competing in the event have to be really strong to survive two laps on the track. For the nature of the race,

the event is often referred to as the most difficult mental challenge for the athletes. Without proper training and conditioning an athlete is bound to be exhausted during the long run in the 800 meter event. At the starting point, the competitors are positioned in a staggered manner. In the first 100 meter of the race, the athletes have to stay in their respective lanes. After that, they are allowed to break their lanes and run through the inner lane of the track. The 800 meter is a very technical event and different strategies have to be followed by the athletes in order to win the race.

800 meter Event for Men in Summer Olympics: The 800 meter running event was introduced to the Olympic schedule in the 1896 Athens Summer Games. Since that first Summer Games, the event has been held regularly at the Olympics. The American and British athletes have been dominating the 800 meter event in the Olympic competition.

Rules for 800 meter Event for Men at Olympics: The rules set by the International Association of Athletics Federations or IAAF are followed for the 800 meter event in all international competition. Some of the rules are as follows-

  • If the number of competitors exceeds twelve, preliminary heats are held for the selection of the athletes in the next round. Participation in the heats is compulsory for all the runners.
  • An athlete is allowed only one false start in the event. On the commencement of the next false start, he is disqualified from the event.
  • Obstructing other runners on the track is considered to be a serious offence.
  • The length of the running track has been standardized by the IAAF. The organization has also determined the width of the lanes on the track.
  • According to the IAAF, the radius of the outside lane of the track cannot exceed the length of 50 meter.
  • The athletes are not permitted to run inside the inner curve of the track, or to step on the inner line of the track. During the 800 meter event, the athletes are not also allowed to break their lanes in the first 100 meter stretch.
  • An athlete is considered to be out of the competition, if he goes out from the track during the race. Once outside the track boundary he cannot join the race again.
  • The athlete failing to reach the finishing line is not eligible for any credit.
  • A standard automatic timing device approved by the IAAF is used for measuring the time of the races.

Medal Winners in the 800 meter Event for Men at Olympics: The 800 meter running event has been dominated by the athletes of the United States of America and Britain. Some athletes who have been leading the race since the early days are Wilson Kipketer, Sebastian Coe, Joaquim Cruz, Sammy Koskei, Wilfred Bungei, Yuriy Borzakovskiy, Andre Bucher, Vebjorn Rodal, Johnny Gray, Patrick Ndururi, Nils Schumann, William Tanui, Paul Ereng, Dave Wottle, Ralph Doubell, Peter Snell, Tom Courtney, Mal Whitfield and Douglas Lowe.

Trivia: During the 1936 Berlin Summer Games, the American athlete John Woodruff started the race in the inside lane. After the 100 meter mark, he was boxed by the other runners. Woodruff slowed down his pace and let the runners pass. Then he took the third lane. Charging from behind, he won gold medal in the event.
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